Taylor Sheridan has become a filmmaker to watch with his terrific screenplays for "Sicario" and "Hell or High Water" Now in addition to writing the film, he's jumped into the director's chair for 2017's WIND RIVER.
Jeremy Renner (The Avengers) stars as Cory, a Fish and Wildlife tracker dealing with enormous personal loss and a fractured family.
He's drawn into a murder investigation when a young Native American woman is found murdered in the snow, miles from anywhere & anyone.
The FBI sends it's closest agent, Jane Banner, perfectly played by Elizabeth Olsen. (Ingrid Goes West, The Avengers). Jane is out of her comfort zone in a truly foreign element but well skilled.
Understanding she needs local support, Jane partners with Cory and begins to unravel the mystery around the young woman's death.
The supporting cast is fantastic. Gil Birmingham is powerful as the murdered girl's father and Cory's close friend. Graham Greene is perfection as the local tribal police chief and Julia Jones is tragic as our victim.
The land in which WIND RIVER takes place is like a character of its own, harsh and brutal yet stunning to look at in every scene.
The scenes of characters dealing with losing their child were so realistic and hit far too close to home for me, but truly captured the desperation of such a loss. The words that Sheridan creates for these characters to say in those moments are perfect in their raw reality.
Like "Sicario" and "Hell and High Water", the setting has huge impact on these people and Sheridan creates a world that is both horrible and beautiful to look at. With Sheridan in charge, you wont be able to take your eyes off the screen.
As WIND RIVER starts, storms are brewing, but I was shocked at the intensity of what they leave in their wake.
Renner and Olsen are moving and riveting to watch.
Like all of Sheridan's films, it took me to a place on Earth that may as well be another planet and then told a story that's anything but predictable.
The friendships and relationships in this movie feel real. The violence is explosive.
Sheridan opens a window to the best, the worst and the most basic of human behaviors on both sides of that line in a story incredibly well told.
WIND RIVER is one of my favorite films of the year and gets a dark and disturbing A+